Patriots waive WR Chris Harper; have 2 in for tryouts and visit with 2 others

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots waived rookie wide receiver Chris Harper on Tuesday, opening a spot on their 53-man roster one day before preparations for Sunday’s road game against the Bills shift into higher gear.

Harper, an undrafted player from Cal who surprised in training camp to earn a roster spot, will likely be re-signed to the team’s practice squad if he clears waivers. He adds value as a returner on special teams.

Harper played 12 snaps in Thursday’s 28-21 season-opening win over the Steelers, working as the No. 4 receiver. He didn’t record any statistics.

The release of Harper leaves the Patriots with just three receivers on their 53-man active roster – Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola and Aaron Dobson. But the club also has two receivers on the practice squad, Kenbrell Thompkins and Nathan Palmer, which is part of its overall depth at the position.

Furthermore, the Patriots had receivers Terrelle Pryor and Evan Spencer in for tryouts this week. Pryor’s tryout was previously detailed, while Spencer, of Ohio State, was a sixth-round draft pick of Washington this year who was waived at the end of training camp as the sides reached an injury settlement.

The Patriots also had defensive tackle Joe Vellano and linebacker Dekoda Watson in for visits Tuesday. Both were with the club in training camp.